Competition got more aggressive; funnels are filled with more “no decisions” than ever before. The team will need to scratch and crawl to the finish line. There is a better way to differentiate your sales force from the competition.
Not Just a Regular Sales Process
The problem with a regular sales process is that it is misaligned with the buyer. Today’s informed buyer is through 57% of the buyer’s journey before reaching out to your team. Here are the disadvantages of an off the shelf process:
- Linear Path– Most sales process’s follow a step-by-step sequence. The buyer does not think this way. You end up frustrating the buyer. Result, he/she goes dark.
- It’s a license- This means anyone can buy the same process even your competitor. If you feel you are being commoditized this is probably the reason.
- Outdated– What do traditional sales methodologies have in common? All were invented prior to the internet. The buyer is further down the process and has evolved. The internet has changed the way your buyer buys. Has your sales process?
- Results– In a study in 2010 by McKinsey showed that 75% of solution selling projects fail.
Why a Customized Sales Process?
If executed correctly, it will impact this year’s number with some quick wins. In addition, you will have built a sales process your competitors cannot duplicate. This will help you ensure you beat the 2014 number. In this post, you will learn how to build a customized approach to selling a product, service or solution. Download the Sales Process Accelerator Tool to help you get started.
What Does It Mean to Use a Customized Sales Process?
A customized approach means you will have higher close rates and reduced cycle times.
5 Steps to Building a Customized Sales Process
- Buyer Process Creation– You have to have a Buyer Process Map. Map out how the buyer makes a purchasing decision in your B2B space. The process will allow the team to see the way a customer wants to buy. This output is a prototype.
- Field Testing and Validation of Prototype– After building a prototype your expert field team takes a test drive. The best sales reps will experiment in the field. The goal is to find out what works and what needs modifying. The final changes are added before presenting to the leadership team.
- Leadership Validation and Testing– Once a version of the prototype is produced; the front line sales leader has the opportunity to review. The manager’s goal is making sure the version works and the coaching tools work. Finally, the executive team reviews and ensures the process receives validation.
- General Release– You then have to train the entire sales force on the sale process. The best way to do that is “Train the trainer”. You bring a small group of sales managers together and teach them the content. They then have to teach the material back in a small group setting. The goal here is to build confidence and their ability to train.
- Adoption– Most critical part of all. If you do not have an adoption plan, your approach is sure to fail. The plan consist of a series of communications from senior leaders to front-line managers. You review metrics. You review deals; you review win/loss reports. Then you are collaborating on your internal social network (Chatter, Yammer or jive). There is a precise set of activities that happen on a weekly cadence. More importantly, it is a team effort.
Using the agile methodology allows you to build and realize results. This is obtained because knowledge transfer is occurring almost immediately to the sales force. The results are in the leading indicators and quick wins as you test the prototype.
In a world where differentiation is becoming more difficult, the only battleground for a competitive advantage is sales. For companies to compete and win in a commoditized global economy, the sales force must achieve elite performance levels. In order to accomplish that feat you need a customized sales process that aligns with your buyer. Download the Sales Process Accelerator tool and learn to outpace the competition.